When it comes to marketing your church or organization online, there are tons of different social networks to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Then there’s the newer, less obvious, social networks. The networks that skirt the borders of how we define social media.
- Tik Tok
- Superfly (Have you seen this yet? It’s cool.)
So yeah, there’s a lot to choose from here. How do you know which networks are best for you and your church?
Ideally, you should be on all social media if possible. You’ve probably heard before that you need to “be everywhere.” But… you work for a church. You can’t be everywhere. You don’t have the budget and the resources. And you never will. So if you had to choose just one social network, which would it be?
To answer that question, you need to first ask yourself where your audience is going to be, and what the best way to communicate what you’re offering is. If you can answer those two questions then you’ll know which social networks to focus on.
Defining Your Goals and Understanding Your Audience
If you look at this in terms of pure numbers, then the answer becomes very simple. Facebook is the biggest social network and as such this is the one you should be on if you want the opportunity to potentially reach the biggest number of people with the widest range of ages and other demographics.
But, as you know, numbers aren’t really what’s important. What’s important is the people behind those numbers. In other words, who are you trying to reach?
You also need to ask yourself, is now the right time to reach this person? And are you reaching them in the correct way?
To answer these questions you need to define who your target audience is and how best to reach them. You probably have a primary audience and a few secondary audiences that you need to target. Work with your teams to determine how best to prioritize those audiences, then determine what social networks you’ll use to reach each one. Because each network is unique and reaches a different type of person.
For instance, did you know that Pinterest is the social media site with the biggest proportion of female users? Yeah, you probably figured that out. But are you looking at that kind of data when you’re planning out your social media strategy?
I was recently working with a church that stated they wanted to hire more women on staff. I asked them where they were putting job postings and they said LinkedIN. But they weren’t getting any female applicants. They were particularly wanting graphic designers and creative types so I suggested they post some of their content to Pinterest and look there for talent instead.
If one of your primary audiences is high schoolers and those under 35 then you should definitely be looking into Instagram, Tik Tok, and YouTube. Others will tell you that Snapchat is the place to be, but that’s a hard no for me.
If your budget and resources are limited, then don’t try to master every social network at once. Focus on your one primary audience and the social network that is best to reach them. In general, any size team should be able to handle Facebook plus one more network that is tailored to your specific audience. If it’s just Facebook, then be the one church out there that kills it at Facebook.
As your time and resources increase, add on social networks that make sense for your audience and the type of content that you want to share.
If you’re doing a great job with Facebook, but don’t think you can handle doing Instagram well, then maybe a volunteer can help take it on. You might be surprised how many stay at home moms or college age kids might be willing to volunteer their time to help with social media. It might just be the way to serve they were looking for.